During 2008-9 over 1 million workers were dismissed in
From 1995 to 2005 the average wage of workers fell by 23% thanks to the Gear policy of the government which forced workers wages downwards through the policy of inflation-targetting. The government reduced the tax on company profits from 48% (the apartheid-era level) to the 28% of today- thus on the backs causing starvation and mayhem among the working class, the bosses continued to plunder and loot the wealth created by workers. For such trashing of the lives of the working class, capitalist newspapers like the Mail & Guardian, awarded the then Minister of Finance, Trevor Manuel, with consecutive A ratings.
Such is the inequality in the income levels that 20 million people, 40% of the population have to survive from only 1% of the total income. At the same time the top 1% of earners take home 40% of the total income. This systematic violence against the masses, who are expected to die in silence and without complaint, goes unreported in the hysterical capitalist media. When the state spends over R100 bn on the world cup, most of which went to the capitalist monopolies like JP Morgan Chase and the bank of New York, that control the construction industry, with schools bulldozed and millions left without adequate shelter, the capitalist press expect the masses to accept this violence without question. When the masses out of desperation begin to occupy vacant land, the state shoots down the poor and breaks down the tiny shelters, stealing the little building material that workers have, the capitalist press supports such state violence. When youth and workers in Mitchell's Plain and Hangberg have their eyes shot out by the police when the state destroys the peaceful occupation of vacant land, the capitalist press is silent on such violence- it never happened- according to them or by implication this violence was justified- according to them the state has the absolute right to trash the working class because if the desperation for housing is not maintained, then housing prices will fall and so too will the level of looting by the banks in housing.
The editorial of the
Who is feeding the unemployed? The capitalists or the state? NO. Only the employed worker. It is in our interest to stand together, whether local or immigrant worker, permanent or casual or informal trader, we need to stand together to support the strike. Watch out for those who want to break our unity by instigating attacks on the informal traders or on fellow workers or the lower middle class.
In 2001 when the Rand massively devalued, all the large
supermarkets raised their prices; when the
The state has embarked on a
R1trillion (R1000 bn) electricity build programme,
without even a plan for full housing. Further, the programme is doubling the
electricity capacity within 15 years while industry, the major user, is in
absolute decline. Coal and nuclear is the base of the
expenses while there have been massive advancements in solar, hydro and
wind technology. Not only is the electricity sector being prepared to become a
permanent cash cow for the Anglo American and the
The municipal strike has exposed the loutish 'journalism' of the capitalist editors. There are some journalists who try to fight for the community view- but most times they are beaten down by the capitalist editors. Perhaps they would like to reveal their salary levels- then it would be more clear whose interests they are protecting.
90% of the youth do not have a future under capitalism. Such is the mayhem caused by the capitalist class and their cruel system of exploitation.
The ANC-SACP government has assisted the looting , plunder, trashing and mayhem by the capitalist class against the working class. Such is the inescapable conclusion from the current strikes.
The way forward
Besides closing ranks during the strike, we must realize that
every gain we make now, the bosses will attempt to take away soon, through even
higher prices, more mass retrenchments, more casualization,
more privatization. We must realize that the current
strike wave is more the start of a rebellion against the capitalist system than
only an economic strike. Workers at the picket lines in the metal and chemical
strikes have openly said that ‘we need to change the government’. By this they
do not mean now to support the reactionary DA, but to unite like the workers in
Break the alliance with the capitalist ANC and SACP- this means kicking out the current leadership of Cosatu who in alliance with big capital and to replace them with new independent worker militants
Bring back the right of instant recall of any layer of leaders; no worker leader and official should earn more than the average wage of a skilled worker.
Democratise the unions to break the Stalinist bureaucratic structure where a small clique can control everything
Form an independent vanguard workers party that fights for International Socialism
Call a workers summit to unite the workers, unionised and un-unionised, permanent and casual, local and immigrant, students, unemployed, grassroots community movements, workers organizations, the rank and file soldiers. We need to call for the preparation for a General strike with general strike committees in every workplace, farm, mine, factory and working class community
Nationalise all the land; Expropriate the entire capitalist class and all imperialist assets, without compensation, placing the commanding heights of the economy under workers control.
Share all the work among all who can work, without loss of pay
Down with multiyear agreements- wages should rise as prices rise
Strengthen the municipal strike, unite with other sectors in struggle (like the contract cleaners, the casualized workers, the 1000 suspended soldiers, etc). Prepare the way towards the general strike.